The Weekend Round-Up: January 28-30


Happy Weekend!

Get recs for ongoing & seasonal activities through these quick links:
* Indoor Outings
* Little Kid Play
* Ice Skating
Baltimore with Kids
* Stunning Spaces
* Local Hikes with Kids
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Peaceful Places

Winter Lanterns at The REACH
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through February 6
Admission: Free

Ring in the Year of the Tiger at the Kennedy Center! In celebration of the Lunar New Year, The REACH will be illuminated with beautiful Winter Lanterns. Around 100 illuminations include a Coral Reef, Panda Grove, Mushroom Forest, Flower Path, Butterfly Garden, and Flamingo Lagoon — all crafted by Chinese artisans and made up of 10,000 colored LED lights total. It’s at once delightful and breathtaking, especially against the backdrop of the city skyline and the KC itself.  Stroll among it all and enjoy some extra China-inspired activities this weekend, including photo ops with Tiger and Panda characters, letters to the Zoo’s pandas, wishes for 2022, and refreshments. There are tables on the Plaza with heat lamps, where you can warm up and enjoy them.

Auto Focus
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mt. Vernon Square, DC
When: Through Sunday
Admission: $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

The 2022 Washington Auto Show is in its second and final weekend. If there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. More than 600 cars and trucks are on display for guests to check out, plus there are more activities like Ride ‘n Drives with Jeep, an Art of Motion exhibit, exotic car display, and Subaru Love Pets area with dogs from local animal shelters will give guests even more to do and see.. See this post from a couple of years ago and this one from earlier KFDC days for an idea of what to expect at the event.

Monster Jam
Where: Capitol One Arena | Downtown DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $25+
The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in the circuit is thundering its way into DC this weekend.  Twelve-foot-tall, ten-thousand-pound monster trucks will race on, tear up, soar over, and smash through a specially-designed track loaded with obstacles. El Toro Loco, Grave Digger, Dragon, Bad News Travels Fast, Whiplash, Hooked , and Stone Crusher (you’ve gotta love these names!) are among the vehicular beasts that will be tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

Winterized Fun
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Don’t let these Omicron cold months keep you from getting out around the area. If you’re seeking ideas for activities that are Covid-safe outdoors, this round-up is full of suggestions. From hikes to art experiences to seasonal sports to garden explorations to all-season fun, there are all kinds of things to do that keep social distancing and safety in mind. All you really need are good layers and maybe a little extra outdoor gear.

Hit the Slopes
Where: Ski resorts around the region
When: Through winter
Admission: Varies by resort

With snow in the forecast, it’s a good time to hit the slopes for some downhill fun. There are a bunch of ski resorts within a few hours’ drive that are great for young, newbie skiers (and veteran swooshers, too). This post has info about Whitetail and one of our day trips there last winter, and other relatively close resorts are Liberty and Bryce.  Farther away, but good to check out for longer trips are Roundtop,  Massanutten,  Wintergreen,  Seven Springs,  Hidden Valley,  Snowshoe,  Timberline, and Wisp.

Rapunzel on Strings
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15

Rapunzel will be letting down her hair as a puppet version of the fairy tale classic opens at The Puppet Co. this weekend. This charming retelling is performed by just one person! Princesses can be named after vegetables, witches can have good intentions, and sometimes you need a little song to help you get you through your day. Recommended for ages 4+. Run time is approximately 40 minutes.

Thomas & Friends
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Through May 15
Admission: $15.95/age 1+

Attention all train lovers: Thomas has entered the National Children’s Museum!  This new interactive exhibit is geared toward ages 2-7 with all kinds of fun activities. Kiddos can climb into the cab and see the inner workings, fix Percy’s wobbly wheel, explore the Island of Sodor, load coal onto cars, play conductor, and much more. If you have a Thomas groupie or want to discover the magic of the #1 blue engine and his friends, get your tickets to get on board today. Of course there’s even more at the museum to enjoy — read more about it here.

Inside Info
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

The  freezing temps and precipitation may have you seeking for indoor options this weekend.  There are some specific recs included in this round-up, and you can find info for other indoor outings all around the area in this post.  There are guidelines in place for Covid everywhere, masks are required in DC and some MD counties, and of course you can opt to wear one even without a mandate.  Something to note: The Smithsonian has temporarily reduced hours and days at some museums.

Nature Calling
Where: Nature centers around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

If you want to get a dose of the outside world in the comfort of the indoors head to a nature center. There are several great ones around the area that offer engaging exhibits, including live creatures. Buddie Ford Nature Center in Alexandria, Watkins in Upper Marlboro, Potomac Overlook in Arlington, Long Branch in Falls Church, and Brookside in Silver Spring all make for a great outing. (Be sure to confirm they are open before you go during inclement weather.)

Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Friday, 8pm
Admission: $35-75
This weekend, CityDance and Strathmore co-present PHILADANCO, a Philadelphia Dance Company known for its innovation, superbly trained dancers, and electrifying performances. Celebrates 50 years as one of the premier African-American modern dance companies, the show will feature the group’s iconic works as well as new choreography that highlights its continued engagement with today’s most important social issues, the company continues its legacy of bridging cultural divides. Purchase tickets here.

Transient: Impermanent Paintings
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through March 6
Admission: $20-30/adult, $17/age 5-17, free/4 & under

The new digital exhibit at ARTTECHOUSE is a wonderful, vibrant escape from the cold. The fantastic fusion of art, music, and technology includes beautiful floor-to-ceiling projections on walls and floors along with music from a motorized piano that syncs up with the art. Watching the colors and patterns “dance” all around you is delightful, mesmerizing, and relaxing, too. Get a glimpse here. Look for a ticket discount here.

College Court Dates
Where: Arenas around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by game
With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college basketball going on during the season — and it’s always a fun time for families. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* Maryland men vs Indiana on Saturday at 2:30pm (Go, Terps!)
* American women vs Navy on Saturday at 2pm
* George Mason women vs GWU on Saturday at 3pm
* GWU men vs Fordham on Sunday at 12pm

Street Car Saturday
Where: National Capitol Trolley Museum | Colesville, MD
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: $10/adult, $8/child, $8/senior

The National Capital Trolley Museum is open on Saturdays offering hourly, docent-guided tours, followed by a streetcar ride. See model street cars on display as well as movies from the 1920’s, then board an actual street car for a ride into the woods (and back, obvi). Online reservations are strongly recommended; walk-ins will be accommodated if space is available, but not guaranteed.

Wheaton Winter Ice Skating Exhibition
Where: Wheaton Ice Arena | Wheaton, MD
When: Sunday, 4:45-6:15pm
Admission: Free
Enjoy live entertainment on ice as local figure skaters perform at Wheaton Ice Arena. Plan to go early to do some skating of your own — there will be a public skate session from 3-4:30pm that day.

Ice It 
Where: Ice skating rinks around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

For even more places to glide the day or night away check out this post with info for ice rinks around the area.  Get your skate and art on at the Sculpture Garden.  Glide over the Potomac on The Wharf’s awesome rink. Circle around Washington Harbour as you enjoy river views. Meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park. Do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. Or head to an ice arena for some skating out of the elements.

* Sad news: The Lane Social Club is closing its doors on February 13. If you’d like to help support their team and say thank you, they’ve set up a GoFundMe.
* This weekend will be a good time to see a movie!
Real Simple has suggestions for cute Valentine’s Day gifts for kids.
* And here’s a fun one for bike-loving peops (this was one of my holiday gifts for Levi).
* For a creepy yet oddly comical TV series, check out this show on Apple TV. (for adults!)
* A great Humans of New York series…start here.

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